Sophomore to perform at Carnegie Hall


Carroll Senior High sophomore Malaika Nair, a trained western classical singer, is set to perform in Carnegie Hall on Feb. 5. 

Last year, Nair was introduced to the idea of partaking in this competition by her voice instructor, and was invited to compete in the National Honor Choir series. This prestigious competition only accepts competitors who are recommended by well-qualified voice instructors and musicians. Once considered by the National Honor Choir committee, competitors had to send in recordings and fill out an extensive application regarding their musical career. Finally, competitors chose where they would like to perform if selected: New York, Vienna, or Sydney. 

“I was excited,” Nair said. “They only accept 250 kids out of 10,000 so it was pretty competitive, actually. I think it’s a great opportunity and it’s just super fun, because it’s in New York.” 

For the next month Nair will be practicing a series of eight songs which she will master and perform. 

“They give you the music, and you learn it on your own,” Nair said. “And then all of the kids go there and they work with the conductor to unify everyone so it flows and it sounds good together.” 

Nair beams when asked what a performance at Carnegie Hall, one of the most prestigious venues in the world for both classical music and popular music, means to her.

“Carnegie is actually, you know, super, super, like well respected,” Nair said. “It feels super great, actually, because it was one of the biggest recognitions I’ve gotten in music. Knowing that I’ve been recognized like that, I just feel so much more proud of my talent and my music.” 

In addition to being honored with this incredible award, Nair has been given a number of honorable recognitions. 

“I have consistently received a superior rating of one on my performance in the UIL solo and ensemble competition. I’ve also received third place in finals and the voice category of an intercity speech and debate competition.” 

Nair also performs with a series of selective choirs in Texas. 

“Some of them are the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas or CGD,” Nair said. “I was part of our varsity choir and I was also part of the Texas Music Educators Association all region choir for two years.” 

Nair has been singing since kindergarten and says she was first motivated to pick up singing while listening to the radio at a young age. She insisted that her mom sign her up for classes when she was around five years old. Her parents encouraged her to keep singing even when she struggled to share her voice. 

 “I actually used to be super, super nervous,” Nair said. “Like, I remember my very first recital ever when I was five and my instructor started playing the piano; it was time for me to come in. And I didn’t sing. And for a minute on stage, he was trying to encourage me to sing and I finally started singing super quietly. And it was just so scary.” 

Following this experience Nair noted that, “although I was good at singing, no matter how good you are, if you go on stage, and you can’t express or show how good you are because you’re scared, then there really isn’t any point of your talent, if you can’t show it.”

Nair added that this applies to competitions and opportunities for students in choir. 

“[When I would audition] and I would make it into the lower [choir], I would be sad. But then when I try again next year, since I’ve learned from my mistakes, I’m able to make it into the top choir this time. So yeah, if I had something to say to other people in choir, I would tell them to go for every competition and every opportunity you have to perform or just, you know, show off your talent.” 

Nair wants to expand her music career and wants to “give back to the community and to improve the lives of others.” Nair says one of the ways she’s done this is by starting an initiative to share music and come together and give back to the community. 

She recalls a particular series of events she organized where she got a group of Carroll students to perform at senior citizen’s centers to volunteer their time.

“It just feels so good to just see how happy music can make people,” Nair said.